HTC sells back half its share in Beats Audio


Taiwanese handset manufacturer sells back 25 per cent stake less than a year after buying just over half of headphone company started by rapper Dr Dre

Taiwanese handset maker HTC has sold back half of its 50 per cent share in the Beats Audio to the headphone company’s founders for $150 million (£97 million).

The sale comes less than a year after HTC paid $309 million (£199 million) for a 50.1 per cent stake in the firm, which was founded by rapper Dr Dre and current Beats CEO Jimmy Lovine.

The sale hit HTC’s shares, which fell 3.8 per cent following the news, as investors questioned what the sale meant for the firm’s strategy.

HTC remains Beats’ largest shareholder with a 25.1 per cent stake, which gives it a 25.57 per cent share of voting rights.

The Beats audio system has been used by HTC to push its new handset range, starting with the HTC Sensation XL (pictured) and across its new One range.

The two firms will continue to work closely together.

HTC has also announced it is lending Beats $224.85 million.